It defies logic for taxpayers’ money to be used to cover the health insurance of some civil servants while the country is battling with providing efficient and affordable health service delivery to the citizenry.
Nobody’s saying civil servants shouldn’t enjoy certain privileges but there have to be priorities and that means catering for the dire economic conditions of the majority of Gambians.
Could you imagine millions of Dalasis are spent yearly on this? Yes, it’s true and is one of the huge perks that civil servants working for parastatals like GRA, SSHFC, and NRA enjoy.
According to our source, some government departments and parastatals offer 100% health insurance that covers their staff and their families. This involves inpatient and outpatient services at renowned clinics like Afrimed.
Come to think of it, all these are happening at a time when major hospitals like EFSTH are facing growing financial debacle. As if that isn’t enough, the current inexcusable health service delivery is such that many people are dying on daily basis from curable diseases—so heart-wrenching. For instance, at EFSTH and Brikama, there are shortages of staff, medicines, and bed.
A social media commentator that spoke to What’s On-Gambia argued that no one working for the government should be given private medical benefit as a perk.
“Why not we invest that in our public health sector to provide better health care for all Gambians’’.
What’s On-Gambiawas unable to establish how much of tax payers money is used to pay the bills, but according to a senior civil servant, who begged for anonymity, not all government departments offer 100% health insurance.
“I am not sure about central government but I do know public institutions like NEA have medical insurance for all staff. Some cover 100% of the fees others cover a certain percentage.”
He added: “But the money seems marginal and I believe these schemes are ways of incentivizing folks to work for the public sector otherwise honestly there isn't a reason to. Take for instance a driver under the scheme who receives D3,000 salary”.
“I understand the need to have a universal healthcare for everyone. But remember this insurance is only available when one needs it.”
Now, be the Judge!